Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Great Birthday Weekend!!

As I type, I am BEAT! Why? Because I had an AWESOME Birthday Weekend! Thank you for all the birthday cards, phone calls, emails, text messages, shout outs, birthday meals and gifts! My family and friends really made me feel special this year. Here are some pictures from the weekend.

Friday: My Day
Lunch out with my girls Myra and Kesha! We've been really busy lately, so it was great to hang out with y'all (missed you Tarece!!!).

I stayed at the office late Friday--on my birthday! I was really tired because I got in a 5 AM birthday workout with my buddy Stephanie. Thanks to Stephanie and hubby Chef Joel (and I can't forget my little buddies Koel and Gabe) for the WONDERFUL and relaxing meal in your beautiful and welcoming home (butternut squash soup, my favorite-crab cakes, chocolate fudge cake, OH MY!).

Stephanie and me; tired after a long day, but our tummies are full of joy from Chef Joel's FABULOUS Birthday meal. A nice way to end my birthday evening--great friends, tasty morsels, good wine, and I could wear my sweats!

Saturday: A busy, fun filled day!

I started off the day with great company and a wonderful breakfast with V, a fellow UVa Alum visiting ATL. Then, a great day of tennis--GO McGhee Super Slammers--Taking all 5 points!! I dropped by Myra's for a nice gathering of friends and got a chance to play with my little sweetie pies-her adorable children.

Then, it was PARTY TIME!!! Hanging out with Stacey (my fellow trainee with Murph--we missed you, Man!), Shareka (my soror and buddy from work), and Kesha (continuing to help me celebrate).


Sunday: All great weekends must come to an end.

I closed out my birthday weekend with Kesha and Ain't Misbehavin' at the Fox. Another great time--the cast was awesome (Shout out to cast member, my cousin Patrice Covington-YOU'RE A STAR!).

As you can see, I am truly blessed (and can probably see why I am pooped)! I better rest up the rest of the evening--5 AM with Murph will be here before I know it!

P.S. For those of you wondering: where the heck was your Sweetie that you are always talking about, Shay Shay! No, we're doing JUST FINE! My Sweetie was sick and had to work, and I missed him dearly. He certainly didn't miss out on blessing me for my birthday though. Looking forward to seeing John Legend (one of my FAV artists!), Baby! Thanks and HUGS!!!!!!

Friends of Shay Shay's blog: Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Safe Travels to those going by road, air, or tracks. Be Blessed!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Go Shay Shay, It's Your Birthday!!

Shay Shay is 32 and is more active than I was when I turned 22!! Ironically, I had just turned 22 when I started by first weight loss journey (you know the one where I lost 46 lbs only to gradually gain them all back plus some extra pounds!). Well, not only am I more mature in life, I am also more mature about the way I eat and exercise. I am developing a true lifestyle of health and fitness. I am down 48 lbs (3 lbs away from my 10 lb goal for the month). For that, I AM CELEBRATING!! So, it's about 7:00 AM, and I am already having a great day!

  • I lifted weights and did a little bit of cardio ;
  • Had my hot bowl of tasty Oatmeal a la Shay Shay;
  • Read some wonderful birthday cards and text messages; and
  • Registered for the ING Georgia Half Marathon!!

Nope, Shay Shay has never run a half marathon (although I have registered for one before. LOL!) I am committed to making this a wonderful experience, but a challenging one because Shay Shay DOES NOT run for the most part. I am one mean power walker though!

I am looking forward to a wonderful weekend of hanging out with friends. I'll take pictures and post them.

Happy Friday and Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!

Okay, I thought I lived in Hotlanta!! It's in the 20s!! I'm bummed because it was too cold (for me) to get on the tennis courts last night (sorry Coach, but numb fingers two days in a row is not my idea of fun!). As I sit here, eating my Oatmeal a la Shay Shay, I can't believe I actually got out of the warm covers and hit the gym this morning (kudos also go to my pal, Stephanie who also braved the cold with me)!

It may be mad cold outside, but this is no time for Shay Shay to hibernate. I have definitely let the cold weather serve as an excuse in the past. No more! I mean really, when I think about it, I'm only in the elements about 15 seconds--the time it takes for me to get out of the car and run into the gym (and I mean run fast!)

This winter, I will avoid the sugary hot chocolate (it's all about the green tea, baby!) and the bulky sweaters to hide the effects of winters' past. Keeping focused during winter even when hibernation seems like a much better idea will make my spring and summer much more happy and fun!

Stay warm and have a great Hump Day!

Shay Shay

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why Shay Shay Has to Get Sleep!

I have read a lot lately that a 6 AM workout is only effective if you go to bed at 10 PM the night before. I have also read that a lack of sleep (less than 7 hours) could actually add flab to the waistline (WHO WANTS THAT--Not Shay Shay!)

There was a time, when I was in bed by 9:30 pm and at the gym by 5:10 am. Now early morning workouts are not for everyone. I am blessed and cursed as a VERY EARLY morning person. I felt great, was making steady progress toward my fat loss goals, and had lots of energy throughout the day--very productive at work! Lately, I have been staying up WAY TOO LATE in part due to blogging (which I am enjoying) and Facebook (it can be addictive!). I have been getting up still for 5 AM workouts, but I found myself sluggish throughout the day. What's the point of that!

I was scheduled to hit the gym this morning at 5 AM, but I didn't get home from tennis until after 10 PM, which meant I didn't go bed until around 11:00 PM.

So, I decided after much debate that I had to get the proper rest. I skipped the gym this morning to get an extra hour or so of rest. I'll get in some exercise tonight instead. And, wouldn't you know, I have much more energy and feel much more productive today! Rest is an important part to achieving my health and fitness goals. I have to make rest a priority!! In addition to keeping my food diary, I am going to start logging when I go to bed and how I feel in the morning and throughout the day (at least until I get back into the habit of going to bed at a good time). I know this may sound like a lot to add into one's life, but it will only take a few minutes, and I believe it will have a big pay off! Stay tuned . . .

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Top Ten Reasons Why Shay Shay is Determined to Keep Her Eyes on The Prize!

It's been quite a while since I have blogged. I have been thinking about blogging, but haven't sat down and actually typed. I have been steady on my mission toward my goals, though. I have been keeping my food diary and hitting the gym more frequently and effectively. With two weeks until the end of the month, I have lost about 5 lbs; 5 more to go to my 10 lb monthly goal! This will NOT be a cake walk! My birthday is this Friday and I go home to Virginia for Thanksgiving the following Tuesday! I am not going to fret! Here are my Top 10 Reasons Why Shay Shay is Determined to Keep Her Eyes on the Prize!

10. I have given away all of the clothes of my former body!

9. I have put this fat loss journey on blast to the world---my reputation is at stake!

8. Who wants to be the chubby woman with the lean, buff man?! NOT Shay Shay! (My Sweetie is really getting lean and building muscle--a real motivator!)

7. I feel great!

6. I have tried this weight loss thing before; Shay Shay is not trying to make this an unhealthy cycle!

5. I like buying pants again (or at least not avoiding buying them because of my thighs!), although I am now becoming more a skirt and dress fan (my legs are shaping up the way I want, but slow down Shay Shay, you're not there yet!).

4. Shay Shay likes hearing her Sweetie say things like "WOW!", "That's What I'm Talking About" and "Man!" (don't get me wrong, he has always told me I'm beautiful, but now he has that "$@*#, you look good!" look when we are about to go out on the town. LOL!).

3. Heck, who doesn't like getting attention and being told they look great! Yeah, call me vain, but guess what Carly Simon, this blog IS about ME! (Shoutout to all the Carly Simon fans)

Need I say more?

1. I want to be 80, still playing tennis and have my doctor tell me, "Wow, I think you have found the fountain of youth!"

Have a great week!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Shay Shay Answers Questions, Shares Food Journal, and Learns a Lesson!

Happy Friday!! This post is a little longer than I like, but I have a lot to say today.

First, I want to answer a few questions from one of the blog's faithful followers:

EMS asked:

Tell me more about the mid morning meal. When are your eating that. I am really having trouble planning out the in between meals. Also, do you make your smoothies at home, then bring them to work? Lastly, any tips on how to keep fresh fruit, raspberries and blackberries, from going bad so quickly.

Shay Shay answers:

1. My mid-morning meal: This meal depends on when I have had my first meal of day, which is typically between 6:30-7:00 AM. I try to eat every 2-3 hours, and I usually will eat around 9:30-10:00. Even if I have a meeting, I try to eat something just before or will take an apple and some almonds in with me. Now, you may say that's rude, but I have found that folks don't care, are use to me dragging around food, and/or see my progress and understand exactly what I am doing.

2. I make my smoothies at home and take them with me to work. Sometimes, I need to add a little water because it may get a little thick.

3. Keeping fruit fresh. This was tough for me at first. Who has $$ to throw in the garbage! I buy frozen berries and mangoes for smoothies (Europe's Best is great and found at regular grocery stores). I now only buy one carton of strawberries at a time, and I have figured out how many bananas I need a week to make my oatmeal. Apples and oranges also last A LOT longer than other fruits, so I buy a lot of apples (because I don't like to peel oranges and the juice is just too sticky for the office or on the go).

Hope this helps!

Now here's my food journal for Monday-Thursday:


Morning: lemon water (I just added this to my routine to help cleanse); Oatmeal a la Shay Shay (i.e. my usual), and green tea

Mid-morning: Protein Smoothie with a few left over baked sweet potatoes

Lunch: Salmon over salad greens, mandarin oranges, and a little feta w/ lemon juice (I ate out for lunch)

Late afternoon snack: Apple and about 10 almonds

Dinner: Tofu stir-fry

Pre-Tennis: apple

Exercise: Whole Body Strength training in the morning; 2 hours tennis practice in the evening


See Election Day posting. Oh, and I forgot to add that I had a couple sips of Champagne--it was a CELEBRATION!

Wednesday-- Post Election Day Off to Recover

Morning: Lemon Water, Oatmeal a la Shay Shay, and green tea

Mid morning: I worked out so didn't have a meal.

Lunch Out: two blackbean cakes with slaw and garden salad with sprinkle of bleu cheese (I dipped my salad greens in Asian Ginger dressing brought on the side); one noodle of a very tasty mac n cheese that my lunch partner insisted I have (I may have to go back for it one day as a treat!)

Late Afternoon Snack: Apple and about 10 almonds

Dinner: Egg white omelet with shrimp, spinach, mushrooms, and tomato


Exercise: I was scheduled to train this evening, but forgot I had a work event. This is why I try to work out in the morning as much as possible. I don't have as much control of time after 8:00 AM!

Morning: lemon water, Oatmeal a la Shay Shay, green tea

Mid-morning: Apple, about 10 almonds

Lunch (Hosted United Way lunch for work): Salad with grilled mushrooms (Ordered vegetarian meal; Didn't eat much of it because it had a creamy white dressing I didn't recognize), wheat roll (because Shay Shay was a tad bit hungry); few sips of virgin mimosa; green tea with pear flavor (YUM!)

Late Afternoon snack: apple, about 6 almonds

Dinner (work event): Okay, there is a brief story here. So, as you can see, I didn't eat much today. By this time, I am more than a little hungry (and it was NOT thirst!). I walk in and was delighted to see a reception area with heavy appetizers. I avoid the fried chicken lollipops, shrimp and grits with cheddar and ham, and the prime rib rolls. Instead I opt for the grilled asparagus, tomato salad and wheat crackers. Oh, and I had one fried green tomato with a little cheese because my colleague said it was worth it. It was, and this one of my favorites since moving to Atlanta! Shay Shay is satisfied, for now, because I knew there was a sit down dinner coming. Right? WRONG!

So, the lights flicker signaling us to go to the next room. OH NO, it's set up AUDITORIUM STYLE! No tables with white linen napkins and table settings! When the program is over, I make a mad dash past the plentiful dessert table set up for post-program enjoyment (because sugar wasn't going to do the trick or help my waistline). I leave STILL HUNGRY! It's after 8:30 after I get home, so I need something to eat and quick. Thank goodness for Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Cereal, almond milk, strawberries and bananas! Ah, now all is well.

So, what did Shay Shay learn today: If I'm not sure what is going to be served, pack a better cooler and eat a little something before I leave. Hungry and Weak is not a good look for Shay Shay! Also, I need to add a little more variety to my meals--I don't want to get bored and then go for something unclean just to mix it up.

Have a Great Weekend!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shay Shay Takes on Election Day!

Yesterday I was able to play an active role in the most historic election of my almost 32 years! I was a Poll Watcher at a Fulton County Precinct, and what an exciting day! Here's how it went:
  • 1:00 AM- I finally go to bed.
  • 4:00 AM- I wake up to finish preparing my materials for the day. Only 3 hours sleep! A real no, no! Shay Shay needs her sleep!
  • 5:00 AM- I eat my favorite oatmeal and then head out to make copies of materials.
  • 6:30 AM-I arrive with two boxes of sweet smelling doughnuts and juice. Shay Shay, keep it together; these are not for you! They are for the Poll Workers. I had my cooler filled with clean eats: hummus, raw broccoli, apples, bananas, strawberries, almonds, and multigrain pita chips (those pita chips can be dangerous; so darn yummy!). Yeah, I could have brought clean eats for the Poll Workers too, but I wanted them to let me in the door! They were facing a long day and under a lot of pressure. They wanted SUGAR!! I'm no clean eating prude, but Shay Shay must remain focused!
  • 7:00 AM-The polls open. The line is down the street!
  • 7:00 AM-7:00 PM-I work to protect voters rights. Exercise for the day consists of standing for 8 straight hours before sitting for a moment and getting back up again. Shay Shay keep away from the pizza, potato chips, and Twinkies!
  • 7:15 PM- I arrive at my neighborhood election night party. I'm still energized, but my back is killing me (As you can see, I endure with a smile because this night is HUGE!). Okay, who brought the fried chicken tenders and buttered popcorn!?! Oh, wait, Shay, Shay! There is an Edible Arrangements Fruit Basket. Salvation!! Nope--Mayday,Mayday: CHOCOLATE DIPPED FRUIT EVERYWHERE! Hey, this is a celebration, right? I indulge (except for the chicken tenders), and it was all tasty!
  • 9:00 PM- Shay Shay is about to crash. As you can see: Shannon takes over and stretches out under her wrap and watches the results.
  • No concept of time anymore: Dead tired. Wait, they are projecting a winner: Obama wins! Shay Shay returns and is ready to party!

It really was a SUPER day! Throughout the day, all the voters were patient and expressed so much appreciation for the work of the Poll Workers and my work as the Poll Watcher. It was so awesome to work with a group of Poll Workers that ranged in age from early 20s to 70s. To see the young and young at heart work together and work together so well as one unit warmed my spirit. I am inspired by the history that I am witnessing and am thankful that I could play a small role.

P.S. I am determined to make a little history of my own in the health and fitness world--starting with one day looking fabulous in that green bikini I bought! :-)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Shay Shay is Sharing Food Journals with You!

Did you know that studies have revealed that those who keep food journals lose TWICE as much weight as those who don't. I saw the most progress when I kept a food journal, and then I got lazy! Since I'm going Back to Basics, I have decided to really put myself out there and share my daily food journal with you every few days. I vow to be completely honest!! I took pictures yesterday (in that workout top I discussed in yesterday's blog) and will take another set after a month of keep my food journal. I will share the pictures with you. Stay tuned! Here is how I did this weekend:

Saturday, Nov. 1
  • Morning: Old Fashioned Oatmeal w/flaxseed, wheat germ, bee pollen, strawberries and 1/2 banana; green tea

  • Post work-out: Smoothie with silken tofu, vanilla whey protein, mango and berries

  • Lunch out: Salad w/balsamic vinegar, drizzle olive oil, 2 whole wheat pumpkin seed crackers, vegetable soup, 1 dark chocolate square

  • Dinner: Baked sweet potato fries, veggie burger on Ezekiel bread, lettuce, tomato, dill pickle(my grandmother canned them)

  • Movie Night: 100 calorie pack popcorn

  • Workout: 30 minutes kickboxing; 30 minutes cross training elliptical

Sunday, November 2

  • Morning: Ezekiel cereal, strawberries, 1/2 banana, flaxseed, green tea

  • Mid-morning: Egg white omelet with shrimp, spinach, tomato, portobello mushroom, garlic and 1 slice Ezekiel toast

  • Pre-tennis snack: Multigrain pita chips, whole banana

  • Post-tennis meal: Vegetarian burger on Ezekiel bread, with homemade dill pickles, salsa, lettuce and baked sweet potato fries (You'll see this meal often on the weekends!); green tea

  • Evening: Smoothie, with vanilla whey protein, silken tofu, berries, and mango chunks w/ one small banana

  • Workout: Two hours singles tennis

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shay Shay Needed a Reality Check

I am definitely proud of my weight loss accomplishment to date, but I had to give myself a reality check this morning as I debated whether I would spend my morning on the couch or in the gym. Yeah, I think I'm looking really cute in those little black dresses (see October postings "Origins of Shay Shay" and "Enjoying Life in Beautiful Palm Springs"), but I have some fitness goals to meet (see them on the left of the page). Have I been putting in the whole-hearted effort to meet them? Not really.

Nutrition for me has not been my biggest hurdle. For some reason, I have managed to do well with eating clean (don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect). My issue has been pushing myself in the gym on a consistent basis to take my physique to the next level of fitness.

So, on this gorgeous fall day, I went deep into my dresser drawer; pulled out a very unforgiving workout top and headed to the gym where there are LOTS OF BIG MIRRORS!!! Looking at myself in that form fitting top and seeing my not so loving handles gave me the motivation I needed!

Come on Shay, Shay! Let's do this thing!